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In some cases, removing impacted ear wax must be done by a doctor or trained medical professional, but there are a few methods that can be tried at home before seeking professional help. The most common method requires only an eye dropper and cotton balls. There are a few products that can be used to help loosen the ear wax so that it can drain. These products are vegetable glycerin, which can be found at stores that specialize in vitamins and at-home remedies, and baby oil, which can be found at almost all grocery stores and drug stores. For those who are experiencing pain in the ear, it is best to go directly to a healthcare professional instead of using these techniques.
Those who try the at-home treatment can perform it on their own, but it's often much easier to have a friend or family member help. First, tilt the head to one side so that the affected ear is raised toward the ceiling. Then put three or four drops of vegetable glycerin or baby oil into the ear canal. Some people find that using a bit more of the liquid product works well, but beginning with just a few drops is a good way to start.
Once the liquid has been dropped into the ear canal, seal off the canal with a small cotton ball. Keep the cotton in place for up to 24 hours, but remove it before showering or bathing. Be careful and gentle during this process. While bathing, rinse the ear with warm water to help the ear wax drain out of the ear.
In some cases, it may be necessary to repeat this process to remove all of the impacted wax from the ear canal. If this process does not work, it may be necessary to have a medical professional remove the impacted ear wax. Medical professionals have small, delicate tools that are used specifically for this purpose, some of which involve the use of suction to pull the wax out of the ear canal.
It is important to avoid using rigid objects when trying to remove impacted wax from the ears. Doing so can damage the ear canal and the ear drum. Many experts believe it is best not to use cotton swabs when trying to remove ear wax as they may simply push the wax further into the ear canal.